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April 6, 1836.]
Incendiary Publications-- Revolutionary Pensions.
The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of some length the nature and effect of it. He said, in the executive business; after which the Senate adjourned. i present state of things, the amendment of the gentleman
from Missouri [Mr. Benton might operate too suddenWEDNESDAY, APRIL 6.
ly, and in effect produce a sort of panic; and he had INCENDIARY PUBLICATIONS.
offered his amendment with a view to give more time,
and to effect the object more gradually. The bill to prevent the circulation through the mails : Mr. WSITE approved most highly of the objects of of incendiary publications was taken up as the special the bill, but thought, if there was any defect in it, it order.
consisted in there being no penalty imposed on the offi. Mr. CALHOUN briefly explained the provisions of
cers or agents of the Government for disobeying the law. the bill, and moved to fill up the first blank with $100,
1 Mr. BENTON most cordially concurred with the Senand the second blank with $1,000; which motion was ator from Tennessee. He has turned over the subject agreed to.
in his own mind, and had not inserted a penalty in the [These sums apply to the penalty imposed on the dep-bill, partly because he was unwilling to embarrass a sity postmasters for a violation of the law, being a fine measure which he had so much at heart, and partly beof not less than $100, and not more than $1,000.]
cause he knew that the officers of the army would be Mr. DAVIS said this was a very important bill, and subject to the rules and articles of war if they disobeyed ought not to be acled on without some deliberation. He
the injunctions of the bill, for its provisions would be had hoped some gentleman would have been prepared
sent to them with instructions from the War Depart. to deliver his views at length upon it. As for himself, ment. But he was heartily willing, and would warmly he was nol now prepared to speak on it. He would and cordially concur in inserting the penalty that the move to postpone it for the present.
disobedience of the officer shall be followed by a dismisMr. GRUNDY observed that he had lately turned his
sal from the service. He knew that great oppressions attention to the subject, and approved of the principles
had been practised by officers on Jaborers and others of the bill though he did not think it altogether calcu. who could not help themselves. The main stress of the lated to effect the objects it had in view. if the gentle. amendment, said Mr. B., lies in the last clause of the man from South Carolina would consent to a postpone. amendment, that is, in making our mark at $20, and ment for two or three days, he should then be prepared which goes to cut off every bank note which is not pay. to offer sone amendments that he thought would be able in gold and silver upon the spot. This would be satisfactory to the gentleman, and would answer the pur of incalculable benefit to the soldier who could not leave pose intended; his duties in the committee of which he
his duties in the committee of which he his post to get uncurrent paper exchanged. Gentlemen was chairman preventing him from attending to the sub- | might say that this amendment was to carry gold and ject sovner. Mr. G., after further consideration, and a silver to the soldiers. He said, God grant that it might. suggestion from Mr. CALHOUN, assented to the postpone. The largest payments to the army were made in the ment till to-morrow, and the bill was accordingly so West; and there were three paymasters there, Major postponed.
Massias, Major Stewart, and Major Harney, who deter. Mr. DAVIS did not know that he would or would not mined to carry nothing to the soldiers but gold and address the Senate on the subject, but if he did he silver, and that equivalent to it; and they did carry it, should want it laid over longer than till to-morrow. and the beneficial effects were soon discovered. The
largest sim that was carried was carried by Major Har. REVOLUTIONARY PENSIONS.
ney. He carried about $40,000, $10,000 of which was On motion of Mr. WRIGHT, the Senate took up the in gold, and he did it without any expense to the United bill making appropriations for the payment of the revo States. All he had to do was to make a requisition on futionary and other pensioners of the Government for the next military post for baggage wagons and a guard; the year 1836; the question being on the following and he was informed by that officer that there was a amendment, submitted by Mr. Bextos:
general rejoicing in the camp when he arrived there “Src, — And be it further enacted, That no bank with the money. There was but one rueful countenance note of less denomination than twenty dollars shall here. | to be seen, and that was of the sutler, who complained after be offered in payment in any case whatsoever in that, if that practice was continued, he would be ruined; which money is to be paid by the United States or the that formerly, when payments were made to the solPost Office Department; nor shall any bank note, of any diers, they rushed to him in crowds, with their bank other denomination, be so offered, unless the same shall notes; but that now they would keep the gold and silver, be payable and paid on demand, in gold or silver coin, instead of spending it in drink and other superfluities. at the place where issued, and which shall not be equiv. He believed that under this provision nothing but gold alent to specie at the place where offered, and convertic and silver would be carried to the outer military posts. ble into gold or silver upon the spot, at the will of the If the Senator from Tennessee would suggest an amend. holder, and without delay or loss to him."
ment to suit his views, he would heartily concur in it. Mr. NILES submitted the following amendment to the Mr. WHITE spoke in favor of pensions being paid in Amendinent:
specie, and that it was of more importance that their "That hereafter no bank note of less denomination interests should be subserved in this matter than even than ten dollars, and that from and after the third day the soldiers of the army. That class of them who reof March, A. D. 1837, no bank note of less denomina ceived their forty-eight dollars were, of all things, most tion than twenty dollars, shall be offered in payment in glad to receive the specie. He was, on the whole, conany case whatsoever in which money is to be paid by tent with the amendment of the Senator from Connecti. the United States or the Post Office Department; nor cut, (Mr. Niles.) shall any bank note, of any denomination, be so offered, The question was here taken on Mr. Niles's amend. unless the same shall be payable and paid on demand, in ment, and it was adopted: Yeas 22, nays 13, as follows: gold or silver coin, at the place where issued, and which YEAS-Messrs. Benton, Brown, Calhoun, Grundy, shall not be equivalent to specie at the place where Hendricks, Hill, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Leigh, offered, and convertible into gold or silver upon the | Linn, McKean, Morris, Nicholas, Niles, Porter, Robinspot, at the will of the holder, and without delay or loss son, Ruggles, Shepley, Tomlinson, Walker, White, to him."
| Wright--22. Mr. N., after submitting his amendment, explained at ! Nars-- Messrs. Black, Clay, Davis, Ewing of Ohio,
[APRIL 6, 1836.
Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Mangum, Moors, Nau- be construed to make any thing but gold or silver dain, Prentiss, Robbins, Swift--13.
a legal tender, by any individual, or by the United Mr. CLAY thought it worthy of serious consideration States." whether it would not be better to leave the matter as it Mr. BENTON assented to the amendment, and said now stood, as, under the present laws, the creditors of that the gentleman might make it as strong as he the Government were bound to take nothing but gold pleased. and silver in payment. It was worthy of consideration Mr. KING, of Alabama, presumed it was intended by whether the passing this amendment would not be giv gentlemen to follow up this amendment by a repeal of ing an implied sanction to the reception, by the officers the law which forced on them the reception of the notes of Government, of bank notes of every description. of the Bank of the United States in payment of the rer.
Mr. BENTON observed that the subject of receiving enue. There was a bill pending, not before them, and disbursing the revenues of the United States had however, for that purpose; and he did not know whe. occupied the attention of all; it certainly had occupied l ther gentlemen were prepared to give it their support, his attention; and, after spending years in thinking about if the bill did come up. He only made this suggestion it, he had come to the conclusion that there was but to gentlemen, that they might give their attention to the one safe course for the United States to pursue, and subject. that was, to return to gold and silve: for the treasury. Mr. EWING said there was nothing in this bill to He had been of that mind for years past; and had made | prevent the receiving of the notes of the United States the rough draft of a bill to accomplish that object; the Bank. If there was a compact or obligation on the part only difficulty was to arrange the times, so as to enable of the Government, in pursuance of the charter, to rethe Government to cut loose from bank paper without ceive them, it could not be violated. He tinderstood it giving a shock to the community. It was a lamentable had been so construed by the Secretary of the Treasury circumstance that the federal Government, while re- that that Department was bound to receive them. He, ceiving the depreciated currency of the States, was (Mr. E.,) however, did not wish to be considered as able, at the passage of the very first revenue law, and giving any opinion on the subject. at the first session of its Legislature, to declare that Mr. CLAY. The notes of the Bank of the United gold and silver only should be received in payment, and States were never a legal tender; the law only authothat they were not now able to do it without producing a rized them to be received in payment of debts due the convulsion, so much had they become entangled in the Government. If any Senator had any of those notes, paper system. Now, the little amendment which he and wanted to get rid of them, he might hand them to had offered to the appropriation bill was only the com him. He would be glad to give the notes of any of mencement of a system which he hoped to see carried | these small banks, or even specie, for them. . out; and the rough bill he bad drawn out was to take Mr. KNIGHT considered the amendment altogether up and carry on the system thus commenced. While useless. There was no obligation on any one to receive they were complaining of the States for the sanctioning any thing but specie in payment from the Government; the inordinate increase of banking capital, it was lament. and he presumed that, when notes less than ten dollars able that this was owing to the fault of the federal Govo |
is was owing to the fault of the federal Gov- | were paid to an individual, it was only for his conveernment in receiving these notes to the extent they did, nience. If the individual was paid in notes over five and paying them out to the public creditors. It was by dollars, he only bad to turn round and ask the cashier this means that a fictitiouscredit was given to them; it was to change them for fives; and he could also, if paid in by this means that they got the money of the United States five dollar notes, get them changed for tens or twenties, to bank on; and it was by this means that a piece of by asking for them. He considered the amendment worthless paper with a little lampblack on it, and made at alogether liseless; but if the gentleman would introduce Passamaquoddy, and called five collars, was made to a proposition, requiring payments to be made only in pass at Altakapas, because it was receivable in payment | gold and silver, he should vote for it. for public lands. He saw it announced in the New Or Mr. BENTON said he should certainly do so; but not leans papers, that a Mr. Armand had, in the Louisiana for a single suggestion, and not at that time. Legislature, proposedi, in bitter irony, that the ancient Mr. CALIOUN doubted whether much if any good and renowned company of fox hunters should be incor. I could come out of this proposition. He could see nothporated with banking privileges. He did it in hittering in it that could cure the wretched state of the cur. irony, as a reproach to the wild spirit of speculation, by rency. It would be better to draw the fifteen millions which the evils of a paper currency were so much ex of Government money out of these deposite banks, and tended. As a consequence of this expansion of the distribute it where it could be usefully employed. They paper system, they are purchasing bread from Europe were rising this money without paying any thing for the --the starselings of Europe were sending them bread; use of it, and drawing from the Government something and it was because those who made this bank paper like two and a half millions of dollars profit. The ad. died it with such facility that they could give a bundle ministration was responsible for that thoughtless, mis. of it for a single loaf. He heli Wiat all this was the chievious, and imprudent act, of withdrawing the de. fault of the federal Government rather than of the posites from the United States Bank, and placing them States; for if they did not give this paper money the l in these pet banks; notwithstanding they were told that, wings to fly on, by making it payable for the revenues, l instead of stopping the evils of banking, these Hydras it would fall back on those who issued it; and those would spring up like mushrooms. It was amazing to see charters, by which uncounted millions were circulated, the majority sitting quietly by, without proposing a and which encouraged an extravagant and demoralizing remedy to this evil, which was making beggars of thousystem of gambling in stocks, would soon cease, for the 1 sands, and enriching speculators. These pet banks had quantity of bark capital in the United States was brought an agent by the name of Whitney, (Mr.C. did not know back to the lawful operations of trade; he believed that him,) who had a control over the pecuniary affairs of four fifths of the stock now held would be surrendered | the country which no other man ever had. He could as unprofitable. So far from giving sanction to the raise or de press stocks at pleasure. There was an awful receipt of paper money, his object was to cut loose from responsibility resting on the supporters of the adminis. the whole of it.
tration. The gulf into which they were rushing was beMr. PORTER here submitted the following amend. 'fore their eyes. The dreadful explosion was coming. ment: “ Provided that nothing berein contained shall | The injury to the manufaciurers would be immense. APRIL 6, 1836.]
But, he thanked God, it would not be so great to those as of course must be the case, deposited in the banks, of the South. If the growing crop should be cut off, no becomes a capital on which the banks will make dig. one could tell the state of things it would bring about. counts and enlarge their operations. This operates like a Money that had been won by blood was put into public sudden creation of additional bank capital to the amount lands, and drawn out to be put into pet banks. With of the permanent surplus, and will enable the banks to draw them (the deposites) from the banks, said he, increase their loans to perlaps twice the amount of and if you cannot return them to the people in any other these deposites. This stale of things, in common with way, loan them without interest. The money of the the improvident legislation of the States for the last two United States deposited in these irresponsible banks years, in creating bank capital to an unprecedented was an annual tax of something like two millions of dol amount, exceeding, probably, fifty millions, has had a lars. He approved of the spirit in wbich this resolution pernicious influence, by giving a dangerous expansion was offered, but it would not meet the crisis. Let the / to the whole paper system. Senate follow up this resolution with measures that The profits which the deposite banks derive from the would make this money cease to be banking capital. public funds, although large, and what they ought not The Senate would do him justice for predicting, in 1834, to receive, is the smallest part of the evils of this state that the state of things then would shake the country to of things. Did I suppose there was to be a permanent ils very centre. He could not let the matter pass with. surplus, I should be as anxious to make some disposiout warning the Senate and the country of the dangers tion of it as the Senator from South Carolina can be; and that threatened the country.
although I will not say that I would support any of the Br. BENTON said that, among the other papers in proposed schemes for the distribution of it, yet I would his possession, be bad an amendment that he had pre go as far as he who goes the farthest in support of any pared for the bill to regulate the deposites of the pub-plan to get rid of it, founded in justice, and which sball lic moneys. Would thie Secretary be so good as to tell not conflict with the constitution. He did not, however, him how that bill stood on the calendar.
wish to see it distributed among the States, but desired [The SECRETARY answered that bill was only eight to see it returned to the people; or, rather, that no more ahead.]
| money should be drawn into the treasury than what was Well, continued Mr. Benton, we shall come to it required to meet the wants of the Government. Let pretty soon, and he was then for making these deposite us siup the money from flowing into the treasury, and banks pay something handsome for the use of the public leave it to distribuie itself among the people. This was money. He also had a provision to prevent them from the scheme of distribution which he should prefer. But issuing notes less than twenty dollars, and to make them the Senator represents the evils of this surplus as arising pay in gold and silver, or that equivalent to it, so that from the public funds being withdrawn from the Bank the holder of the bills should have a right to demand of the United States, and deposited in certain State specie, and one half in gold, on the spot. He should banks. He could not understand how this had either stake his political existence against suffering the notes caused the evil, or increased it; it was unaccountable to of any of these banks from becoming ihe currency of him how a given amount of money deposited in one set the country. We cannot, said Mr. B., cut them off at / of banks should have more influence to extend banking once; but must come to a specie circulation gradually. operations than if deposited in another set of banks. The He would state, before he sat down, that his bill to sup- banks are all governed by the same principles, and act ply the mint with coin (proposed a few days ago) from the same motives. Their object is to make the would take up a considerable portion of the revenue; greatest profit; and the public funds, let them be in for the mint would require, as he had been informed by what bank they may, will be used for this purpose. the director of that institution, a million of dollars a It is now claimed that the public revenues being in State month.
banks have occasioned an alarming extension of bank. Mr. CALHOUN rose to express his approbation of ing operations and expansion of the paper system, the measures the Senator from Missouri proposed to which threatens general ruin. Would not these evils, introduce, and said he would co-operate in any measures so far as they do exist, have been the same if these that would prevent that greatest of all calamities to any | funds had been in the Bank of the United States and its country, a ruined currency, a state of things which gave branches? the sagacious and cunning man the advantage over the He should like to have the explanation of this matter. honest laborer.
It was to him as great a mystery as one of an opposite Mr. NILES said that the Senator from South Carolina character two years ago. Then it was claimed by the (Mr. Calhoun) had delivered the speeeh we liad just Senator and others, that the removal of the public funds heard, or the substance of it, three or four times during from the Bank of the United States to these same pet the session, on different occasions. The surplus in the banks occasioned a money pressure and a panic. It was deposite banks appears to give the gentleman great then said that the public revenues, while deposited in anxiety and alarm. In addition to his apprehensions the United States Bank, were a fund in which that bank for the security of the public funds, which he has not extended accommodations to merchants and others; but now enlarged upon, he represents the surplus as an that being removed to State banks, they were not avail. alarming evil, by its tendency to enlarge the action of able for such purpose. The public could not be benethe deposite banks, and give dangerous expansion to the fited by them in the State banks; and this was gravely whole paper system. So far the gentleman is correct. alleged as the cause of the money pressure. Men of Aside from all other weighly objections to an accruing plain common sense could not then comprehend how surplus, if it shall appear that there is a surplus, this is, it was that the removal of eight or ten millions of dollars no doubt, an evil of no small magnitude. The money from one to another set of banks, all acting on the same now in the treasury, however, cannot be regarded as a principles, and using it as a capital, should create a scarsurplus; it has accumulated by the tardiness of our legis- city of money. This was a mystery two years ago; lation, and the delay of the appropriation bill; it is much and now it seems we have another mystery quite as of it required for the public expenditures of the current great; the deposite of the public funds in State banks, or year. The evil, therefore, to a considerable extent, what the gentleman calls pet banks, producing an alarmmay be regarded as a temporary one. But if there shall ing expansion of the paper system, deranging the cur. prove to be a surplus beyond the appropriation, such rency, and threatening a general explosion, when none surplus, whether of thirty millions or ten millions, being, I of these evils would exist bad the same funds been de. SENATE.)
(April 6, 1836.
posited in the Bank of the United States. He had no pets had petitioned for, or favored the recharter of, the partiality for the deposite banks nor any other banks; Bank of ihe United States. They were, said Mr. W., he wished them to be restricted, and compelled to pay with few exceptions, all opposed to the President. The for the lise of the public deposites; they were enjoying official documents from the Treasury Department, on advantages which they ought not to enjoy; but he could | which gentlemen of the opposition have heretofore not, in silence, hear it repeated again and again on this commented, exhibit the fact that the Planters' Bank of floor, that the evils arising from the present surplus, Mississippi held nearly three millions of the public mowhatever they may be, bave been occasioned by the neys; and yet this enormous sum is permitted to remain public revenues being deposited in the State banks, in- in a bank, whose president, whose cashier and directstead of the Bank of the United States, as that bank bas ors, were the decided opponents of that gentleman, greater power, is controlled by one will, can act with whose cause, it is insinuated, the President desires to more energy and effect. Had it retained the public promote through the aid of the public moneys in the funds, the public evils would have been greatly in- deposite banks. Should not this fact convince every imcreased.
| partial mind ibat these charges against the President Mr. CALHOUN, in reply to Mr. Niles, said the were utterly groundless. Sir, (said Mr. W.,) I venture gentleman had misunderstood hiin. His argument was, to affirm that four fifths of the deposite banks are opthat the removal of the deposites, and the breaking posed to the President, and that a publication of the list down of the Bank of the United States, had given rise of names of the stockholders, directors, and officers, of to innumerable State banks; and not that the surplus these institutions, would prove the truth of this asserwould not have accumulated in the Bank of the United tion. Sir, (said Mr. W.,) if banks, ay, even if deStates; and that the idea of limiting bank capital by re-posite banks, were to decide the politics of the day, moving the deposites had turned out to be wholly fala hopeless indeed would be the cause of the President lacious. But it was the security of the public money and of his friends. But, (said Mr. W.,) the gentleman to which he had alluded; for he would venture to as- from South Carolina tells us that the public moneys are sert that, if an ensurance was opened, they could not unsafe in the deposite banks; that no one would ensure get the public money ensured in the deposite banks, the return of these public moneys, by these banks, to against loss, for a premium of twenty per cent. In the the Government, at less than twenty per cent. Sir, Bank of the United States the public money would (said Mr. W.,) if the gentleman will make the offer, have been safe; and, what was more, they would, as he can, I have no doubt, obtain this ensurance at less stockholders, be drawing an interest of $400,000 for than one half of one per cent.; and, sir, so far as my this money, which the deposite banks used without in- humble means would go, I would most cheerfully ensure terest. There would have arisen another advantage the prompt payment of all the public moneys by the from leaving the public money in that bank. Had it | Planters' Bank of Mississippi at less than one twentieth remained there, there would have been no objection, as of one per cent. Sir, (said Mr. W.,) that bank is now, to the distribution of it among the States, because owned and controlled by political opponents; but I feel the Government was in a state of hostility to the bank. bound to say that the institution is perfectly solvent, President Jackson had twice recommended this meas. | fully able to meet, at any moment, any call the Treasury ure, and it was surprising to see the facility with which may make upon it; and that it is, at this moment, infi. his friends changed their opinions to please him. When nitely safer than the Bank of the United States; that it he first recommended the distribution, they highly bas more specie or northern funds, in proportion to its applauded it; the recommendation was eagerly hailed circulation, than the Bank of the United States. Sir, by New York; Pernsylvania followed suit, and the (said Mr. W.,) an effort was made some two years ago, whole party sung hosannas to it; now they were all op on this floor, to destroy the credit of the Planters' Bank posed to it. He saw a great difference in having the of Mississippi. An alarm was created abroad; the notes public money where it was safe, from having it where it of the bank was sent in from all the distant cities for rewas not safe. Banking capital had increased more than demption in specie, and they were redeemed, and the one hundred millions, and he held the administration re- panic terminated; and, sir, is it desired to get up alsponsible for it, as well as for all the evils with which other panic, not merely in Mississippi, but throughout they were threatened. He had predicted this state of the Union?' Is it intended once more to unlinge public things again and again, as a consequence of the meas. | confidence, to excite ano:her alarm, by asserting that ures of the administration, but he had not been listened | twenty per cent. would not be taken as an ensu to, and they had proposed no measure to remedy or the return of the public moneys from the deposite" prevent the evils acknowledge to exist. They came banks? Is it intended to create, by false alarms here, into power in 1830--they saw the public debt was about another scene of distress and embarrassment, and then to be paid--they saw the tariff throwing millions in o to charge it all upon the President? Is it for this that the treasury which it ought not to have collected; and infrated estimates of the alleged surplus are presented they recommended no measures to meet these emer- to the public, when at the rising of Congress, when all gencies. Instead of being employed in attending to the appropriation bills may have passed, there may be these objects, they were employed in turning out one no surplus at all? But these public moneys are not decabinet and putting in another, and regulating social posited in the United States Bank; they are not there to intercourse, declaring who they should visit, and who be used in prostrating the administration, and overthey should not visit. He held the administration re-throwing the liberties of the people; and this seems to sponsible for the existing state of things in regard to be the great grievance of which the gentleman from the currency, and for converting the public lands, the South Carolina so loudly complains. Sir, the sentiment property of the people, into useless paper.
of the American people, shaken by the portentous Mr. WALKER said he had heard with mich sur- / alarms echoed and re-echoed from this hall, did for a prise the charge renewed by the gentleman from South moment vibrate upon this subject, but it is now fixed Carolina, (Mr. Calioun,] in relation to the deposite and immutable that the public moneys had betier be banks; or, as that gentleman designates them, pet scattered to the four winds of heaven, than to be used banks—he President's banks. Mr. w. said, that it as a part of the artillery of the bank in its war upon the these banks are the pets of any man, or set of men, Government and people of the Union. Believing, then, they were the pets of the United States Bank; for Mr. that no useful object can be accomplished by these inW. believed that nine tenths of these very misnamed ' cessant assaults upon the deposite banks, I hope these
April 7, 1836.)
Public Deposites--Railroad Contracts.
attacks will cease, or if renewed, it may in future have 1 [Mr. Ewing,] and had been unanimously agreed to in facts and specifications, instead of vague assertions and line committee. The Postmaster General would have no groundless insinuations.
power on the subject of contracts. He would act merely in Mr. Porter's amendment was then agreed to, and as a negotiator with the War Department, for the pur. the bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. pose of communicating to the railroad companies all PUBLIC DEPOSITES.
possible information which would be required as to the
wants of the Government. But he was not to act on the Mr. WRIGHT laid on the table the amendment which
subject of contracts; all he could do was to present the he proposed to move to the bill to regulate the public
offers to Congress, by whom they must be accepted or deposites, whenever that bill shall be called up. If the
rejected. No additional power, therefore, was confer. Senator from South Carolina did not call up that bill, 1 red on the Postmaster General, as he was not authorized (as he had intimated that he should not,) he (Mr. W.)
should not,) ne (Mr. W.) | to do any thing which was conclusive. The amendment, would call it up at the earliest opportunity.
which took away the power froin the Postmaster Gen. Mr. CALHOON expressed his gratification that the
eral, was offered by the Senator from Ohio, and had regentleman from New York and the Senator from Mis.
ceived unanimous concurrence; and the bill, in its souri had taken this bill under their protection. 'They | amended form, is as free from giving any increased had the power to carry it through, and he was glad that powers to the Postmaster General as possible. they had it in their charge.
Mr. CALHOUN said he should be happy to concur in The amendments were ordered to be printed.
all the provisions of the bill which appeared to him to SMITHSONIAN LEGACY.
be practicable; but even in the modified form in which Mr. PRESTON stated that he had some months since
the bill was now presented by the Senator from l'en
nessee, he saw much difficulty. We are about to make Jaid on the table a resolution from the Committee on the
a new movement. We had frequently seen plans which Judiciary, on the subject of the legacy of Smithson. He would now call it up, if it suited the convenience of the
were equally plausible in their appearance, but which
finally turned out to be mere fallacies. He was desirous Senator from Virginia, (Mr. LEIGH.] Mr. LEIGH yielded bis desire to have it taken up,
that ihe motion to print the extra number should be postponed until there had been a little more time al
lowed for examination into the report. On motion of Mr. BLACK, the Senate proceeded to
Mr. EWING, of Ohio, stated that it was only recently the consideration of executive business; and, after re.
that the subject had been agitated at all. It was cers maining some time in secret session, The Senate adjourned.
tainly impossible to foresee all the difficulties which might arise in carrying this new arrangement into effec!.
Although he had proposed the amendment, and assent. Thursday, April 7.
ed to the report which had been made, he had reserved
himself as to the main question of the policy of the bill RAU.ROAD CONTRACTS.
itself, and had left himself entirely free to act on that Mr. GRUNDY, from the Committee on the Post Of. subject according to the views he should then entertain. fice and Post Roads, made a report on the subject of the The original bill had this objectionable feature. Ac. bill to authorize contracts with the railroad companies; cording to its provisions, no railroad company could which he read from the table.
make a contract for the transportation of the mail willMr. EWING, of Ohio, stated that the report contain out the permission of the Postmaster General. This ell much important maiter which it was proper to lay provision was exceptionable, and he had pointed it out before the public; and he accordingly moved that there and suggested its impropriety. It was accordingly be 5,000 extra copies printed.
stricken out by the unanimous consent of the committee. Mr. GRUNDY suggested that there should be aj). The bill as it now stands provides that the Postmaster Gen. pended to the report the bill of the committee, as it was eral shall send the proposals to Congress, for the action proposed to be amended.
of that body, after such propositions have been submit. Mr. CALITOUN said that the report was an important ted. To this provision he could make no objection. To one, but he could not but apprehend that it might be the act, as it now stood, he could at first view see no difficult to carry out the views which it contained. He objection. If, when the first contract was made, it feared that the Postmaster General would derive, as the should be found on trial that it was disadvantageous, the agent of the Government to contract with these compa system could be broken up without going any further. nies, too great an addition to his power, and in this re He had proposed the printing of an extra number of spect the bill could not be too carefully guarded. He copies, because he desired that the subject should be had not had sufficient time to turn in his mind the many transmitted freely to the public, in order that public difficulties which seemed to stand in the way of this opinion might act upon it, and that the merits of both plan. Whenever the bill should come before the Sen the report and the bill may be fairly examined. Still he ate, he would co-operate heartily in guarding against too | bad no particular objection to suspend his motion to much power being given to the Department. He doubt: print an extra number for a few days, until the argued the propriety of printing so large a number. It was ments of gentlemen could go forth at the same time.
case that these ex parte reports held out flatter. Mr. GRONDY expressed the hope that whatever ing prospects, which were doomed to be clouded, and number it might be thought proper to print of this reto leail to expectations which were never realized. He port, they might be printed at once. It was a matter hoped there wouli be a postponement of the question of business. It was important that the plan should be to print the extra number.
known abroad, in order that companies might make Mr. GRUNDY expressed a wish that the gentleman their contracts with a full knowledge of the views of from South Carolina had turned his attention to the the Department and the committee. amendments proposed to the bill. It was so framed that Mr. KNIGHT said lie was a member of the Committee the Postmaster General would have no authority to make on the Post Office and Post Roads, and had acquiesced any binding contract. Every contract must be submit. in the report. But he did not feel himself committed ted to Congress, and must receive the sanction of the as to his vote on the bill; he felt bimself still at liberty two Houses before it would be binding. This amends to act in reference to the measure as his judgment might ment had been proposed by the Senator from Ohio, 1 hcareafter dictate. He regarded the bill as an indirect